Paramount unveils initial Blu-ray slate

'Bee Movie,' 'Face/Off' among titles

Paramount Home Entertainment is getting ready to re-enter the Blu-ray Disc business it abandoned last year just before "Transformers," with an initial slate of catalog titles it will begin rolling out May 20.

Arriving in stores that day are Blu-ray Disc versions of "Face/Off," "Next" and "Bee Movie," a DreamWorks Animation title that was initially supposed to be released in March on HD DVD, the same day as the standard DVD. But when Toshiba threw in the towel on HD DVD in February, those plans were scrapped and "Bee Movie" came out only on DVD.

Two more recent theatrical hits will be released on Blu-ray Disc on June 3, "Cloverfield" and "There Will Be Blood."

Then, on June 24, Paramount will issue its first day-and-date Blu-ray Disc release, "The Spiderwick Chronicles." The film, which grossed $70.6 million in U.S. theaters, will be rolled out on Blu-ray Disc in key international markets, as well, beginning in July.

Also slated for international-market release are "Cloverfield" and "No Country for Old Men," beginning in August.

More titles will follow as the year progresses, said Paramount Pictures worldwide home entertainment president Kelley Avery.

"We will have a strong slate of titles for Blu-ray release throughout the year, worldwide, and are enthusiastic about expanding the format's offerings for a broad consumer audience while delivering an experience that goes beyond what viewers love about DVD," she said.

Paramount initially was one of two studios, along with Warner Home Video, supportive of both next-generation, high-definition optical disc formats. But in August, Paramount became HD DVD-exclusive, reportedly after a $50 million payment from the HD DVD camp.